RIAA claims victory in Usenet lawsuit

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

San Francisco (CA) - Usenet.com has been named the latest casualty in the RIAA's seemingly unending legal war against unauthorized file sharing. 

RIAA Music

"A federal district court late Tuesday afternoon issued a decisive ruling in favor of the record companies in the lawsuit against Usenet.com," the RIAA confirmed in a statement.

RIAA General Counsel Steven M. Marks explained that the verdict was yet another example of courts "recognizing the value of copyrighted music" and acting against individuals engaged in "wide scale infringement."

"We hope that other bad actors who are engaging in similar activity will take note of this decisive opinion," added Marks.

Usenet.com is a file sharing service that allows participants to exchange articles, songs and other data. However, in contrast to other file sharing networks, Usenet limits download activity to a single server and prevents the transfer of files from multiple sources.

As TG Daily previously reported, the RIAA has steadily increased its legal efforts against the allegedly illicit transfer of copyrighted material. For example, a US woman was recently ordered to pay $1.92 million for downloading 24 tracks from the Kazaa file sharing site.

When the case first went to trial in 2007, the jury awarded just $9,250 a song. Nevertheless, a second jury subsequently ruled that Jammie Thomas-Rasset had violated various copyright laws and was required to pay almost ten times as much per track in damages to the record industry.

"I have no means of paying the fine. There's no way they're ever going to get that," Thomas-Rasset told reporters. "I'm a mom, limited means, so I'm not going to worry about it now. The only thing I can say is good luck trying to get it, because you can't get blood out of a turnip."